Increasing vitamin D levels to help prevent osteoporosis

One of the risk factors contributing to an increased likelihood of developing osteoporosis is a lack of vitamin D. As we all know we get most of it from being exposed to sunlight for a small portion of every day; however here in the UK that’s difficult during the winter months in particular as the light often isn’t strong enough and the cold reduces our willingness to expose our bare skin.

However, there are some alternative ways to get Vitamin D from your diet and below you’ll find a list of the top ten foods providing a really good source of vitamin D that is easily digested and absorbed. I’ve also included a recipe to help out as well.

  1. Cod Liver Oil – once the bane of every adults childhood we can now take it in an easy to swallow capsule instead of by the spoonful. It also contains essential omega-3 fats.
  2. Oily fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel (canned will do as well), tuna in oil.
  3. Portobello mushrooms
  4. Wholewheat breakfast cereals fortified with vitamins such as Bran Flakes or All Bran.
  5. Tofu – preferably the firm form rather than separated out.
  6. Caviar – if you can afford it!!!
  7. Dairy products such as butter, fortified milk, buttermilk and goats milk
  8. Extra lean ham or pork chops and fillets
  9. Hard boiled eggs or raw in milk, scrambled and poached or in an omelate
  10. Milk and dairy alternatives such as my favourite almond milk or soya milk.

Mackerel and vegetable pasta – serves 2

I’m a big fan of pasta and I love mackerel too and this easy dish combines essential vegetables with store cupboard ingredients.

  • 125gm can of mackerel in oil
  • 400gm tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow and 1 green pepper
  • 1tbsn olive oil
  • 1 tspn dried mixed herbs
  • Black pepper for seasoning
  • Enough pasta for two people

Roughly chop the onion and peppers and shallow fry in olive oil until the onion is translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the chopped tomatoes, black pepper and mixed herbs and simmer for a further five minutes. Combine the mackerel with the other ingredients and continue simmering. Cook the pasta in boiling water until cooked through according to the instruction on the packet. Combine the mackerel and sauce with the pasta and serve.

(Image: Vincent Van-Gogh – Still life with mackerel, lemon and tomato 1886)

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